Gordon wins stage, cuts down deficit
Robby Gordon continues to challenge for the 2012 Dakar Rally title.
On Tuesday, Gordon and his Speed Energy/Toyo Tires Hummer team dominated Stage 9, winning by 1 minute, 38 seconds over overall leader Stephane Peterhansel.
Gordon led the entire stage and cut his deficit on the leader to 5 minutes and 58 seconds with five stages remaining.
Gordon and navigator Johnny Campbell continue their quest to become the first Americans to win Dakar.
"My guys have flat killed it," Gordon said. "They have worked really hard and it's a tough battle. I'm lucky to have a great, great group of guys that are dedicated from the heart - they bleed orange and we're going to have some fun trying to win this rally. I'm sad to see Nasser go but if he doesn't want to drive the car then so be it. It just gives me more support more equipment and three more mechanics to go after this thing."
Stage 10 takes the competitors from Iquique, Chile, to Arica.
Gordon's teammate, Nasser Al-Attiyah, did not fare as well Tuesday. For the second consecutive day, his serpentine belt popped off, not once but three times. After using all of his spares, Al-Attiyah was stranded near kilometer 200 of the 556 km stage. Being more than an hour down to the overall leader, Al-Attiyah has opted to end his efforts for a repeat championship and dropped out of the stage.